Opening in the Time of COVID

MVB Coffee Lounge by Marcell Von Berlin on Melrose Ave. in West Hollywood, CA In February of 2020, I took a trip to LA to visit a prospective cafe. I was excited for the opportunity to plan out a beautiful cafe with an edgy menu on trendy Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood in the iconic storefront of designer Marcell Von Berlin. I had lived in LA previously for over five years, so the client base and the location were already familiar to me. I had already sketched out a food an

New CEO and New Direction for Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

An Interview with Sanjiv Razdan, President Despite the many challenges over the past 15 months, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf have continued to experience growth. With a full head of steam, the iconic California coffee brand is heading in a new direction. Industry veteran Sanjiv Razdan (former COO of Sweetgreen, Applebee’s, and Yum Brands) has just recently started as the new President of the Americas and Indian market. They have big plans of expansion for the company, so Sanjiv a

Master Moments: Nick Stone

I recently connected with the intrepid leader of Bluestone Lane, Nick Stone, to see how one of our most energetic and forward-thinking CEOs would manage the current retail climate. Of course, if you’ve never been into a Bluestone Lane, you may not understand the level of quality experience you are in for, considering they are operating over 30 cafes coast to coast. Each space is unique to the space and neighborhood it lives in, yet with a particular touchpoint that lets you k

Starting Your Content Marketing Plan

Content Marketing has been around for ages; however, it has never been more accessible yet complicated. More and more people are spending more and more time online. They are making purchases based on familiarity. Familiarity is even more poignant when purchasing online. You do not necessarily have the opportunity to test a product or get a closer look as you would in a physical store. Impulse buys are also less likely unless you are a familiar product or service. So, how do w

Master Moments: George Howell

George Howell, of course, is the brilliant entrepreneur that first created the Coffee Connection in 1970’s Boston and was one of the original proponents of Specialty Coffee. His chain of 24 stores was the dominant retailer in Boston, which lead to its eventual purchase by Starbucks in 1994. Along with the sale of the cafes – the Frappuccino – which George invented, became part of Starbucks’ nation-wide menu. The Cup of Excellence, whose primary purpose is to highlight the cra

Unconventional Conventions

As we turn the corner on six months into the Pandemic and closing out summer we are starting to miss some of the things that were our seasonal favorites like… Trade Shows! We kind of complain about them in advance however we all depend on them for networking, finding products and reconnecting with our friends and like-minded people. The days of crowded convention floors, free samples and endless totes of schwag are on hold for now… Since we cannot gather in mass, how do we ke

Getting Online and In Line to Sell Coffee: part 1

Written by: Alfonso of Blue Mayan Coffee The changes in technology, and particularly the impact of COVID-19, have pushed commerce to the ever-expanding realm of the internet, and coffee ventures are not exempt from those trends. Notwithstanding the attractiveness of targeting particular shopper personas through sniper-like tools provided by the Amazons, Googles, and Facebooks of the world, all too eagerly, most entrepreneurs want to jump into selling coffee online without ade

5 Tips on your Home-Work

As CEO of F+B Therapy and a consultant in food and beverage I have been self employed for a decade. Previous to F+B I was also self employed for another five years working in the film industry as a writer and director. Self Discipline has always been a point of strength for me when it comes to work. Lou Gehrig was my favorite baseball player of all time and Hemingway one of my favorite writers. Hemingway famously would start his day by sharpening 20 pencils before he would st

Retro-Reno Concept: Adaptation Series

Adaptation Series 1 Throwback to Mid-Town Lunch – vending cafes for densely populated cities. The current pandemic is going to populate some pages over some months as this is obviously what is consuming all of our attention. In the food and beverage industry we are all poking and testing what will be the way forward and how this whole thing is going to break and when. Unfortunately we have no idea and any amount of speculation is likely going to be incorrect. This is why the